Being a Mum when the sun is shining can be so much fun; but how can you protect your child’s skin against sun damage?
The skin of children is very delicate and more prone to damage and it’s a sad fact is that children who have had episodes of sunburn are more likely to develop skin cancers in later life!
So how can your children enjoy sunshine and the outdoors and yet be safe?
- Keep babies out of the sun completely (as far as possible).
- Keep the older children out of the sun between 11 am to 3 pm when the sun is highest.
- Insist they wear protective clothing (it is possible to burn even through light clothing) and especially a hat.
- Use sun screen of course, but only as part of your protection regime
How and when should I use sunscreen?
It takes time to get working slap it on 30 minutes before exposure, reapply frequently at least every 2 hours and after swimming – even those that say water resistant! Apply liberally (an adult wearing a swimsuit will need 2 tablespoons).
Which sunscreen to use on children?
- Make sure it protects against UVA & UVB rays and has an SPF of at least 30.
- In addition to SPF it should include UVA-blocking ingredients such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide.
- If your child has sensitive skin or is prone to eczema check the ingredients carefully for allergens such as Parabens and Petrolateum
There is so much confusion about this. It doesn’t follow that double the SPF numbers mean double the protection: the difference between an SPF 15, which blocks out 93 per cent of radiation, and an SPF 30, is only four per cent. SPF 50 will only block out 98 per cent of rays.
The evidence suggests that products with very high SPFs may create a false sense of security leaving you feeling its safe to stay out in the sun much longer. Many people now agree that if you think you need SPF over 30 it’s time to question whether you should move into the shade?
If you are putting factor 50 on a child between April – October it is highly likely they will be vitamin D deficient but perhaps we’ll leave that for another blog!
Hope you enjoyed my first blog.